“Being a multiplier requires us to build relationships. One of the goals of next year’s meeting, Strengthening Relationships and Valuing Our Diversity, is to deepen our skills in relationship building and bring people with diverse perspectives & strengths together…”

Our 2023 meeting was quite the event with 2,585 attendees, our second highest annual meeting attendance ever! We came together as a community to share our work, collaborate, and support each other. It was a vibrant gathering of members passionate about their work. #SGIM23 kicked off my year as president, and my purpose for the meeting was to listen to you. I returned home excited about what I heard from you and the medical students, residents, and fellows I met at poster sessions and in the hallways. The pandemic has not dampened our passion for the work we do or our desire to tackle the thorny issues we face at our institutions and nationally. I spent the meeting going to as many committee, commission, and interest group meetings as time allowed. I will highlight a few of these sessions and my takeaways.

This year’s ACLGIM Hess Institute, Surfacing Problems, Changing Systems: Improving Recruitment and Retention of GIM Learners, had more than 100 participants, and more on the waiting list. The Institute was facilitated by The Civic Canopy, “a community-based nonprofit focused on transforming the way we solve society’s big, sticky issues. [They] do this by engaging and connecting diverse groups of people seeking change in their community….”1 As I listened to the animated discussions, it became clear that we need to develop and strengthen relationships within our care teams and institutions, including with institutional leaders and other like-minded specialists, to become effective change agents. We also need to listen to and join with our patients and patient groups in advocating for change at local, state, and federal levels. I am sure we will hear more about the ideas generated during the Institute, as our ACLGIM leaders digest Civic Canopy’s report and develop action plans and strategies for us to use at our institutions.

The committees, commissions, and interest groups provided ideas that I brought back to our June Council retreat. They helped inform the Council’s discussion of annual plans and collaboration between committees. It became clear that several committees will need to work with each other to help us with areas such as the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in health care and the growing influence of private equity companies on health systems. Members of the Ethics Committee were surprised when I said, “we need you,” to help us think clearly about these issues and preserve what is important to patients and to us. Guidance from our Ethics Committee will keep us true to our values, as we advocate on behalf of our patients and profession. We will need other committees (e.g., health policy, research) working together to address these and other issues in the upcoming year.

The results of the Research Committee’s report on the state of GIM fellowships, and their recommendations, were the center of discussion for that committee and for the Fellowship Directors and Fellows interest groups. It became clear that we needed a task force consisting of representatives from these groups working together to create an action plan and timeline for Council to consider. Again, the problem of our shrinking GIM pipeline—specifically our GIM clinician-researcher pipeline—was apparent. One of our hospitalist leaders said to me, “we are at an inflection point,” and need to act now. As ACLGIM and our Committees work together within SGIM/ACLGIM, I know that we must reach out to other like-minded organizations (e.g., American College of Physicians, Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine, Society of Hospital Medicine, Primary Care Collaborative) to explore how we might join forces in our advocacy for these issues on a national level.

To balance the complex challenges discussed throughout the meeting, the plenary addresses had messages of hope and promise. Nakala Cook, MD, MPH, Executive Director of the Patient Centered Outcomes Institute (PCORI), told us they are committed to funding work addressing many of the areas of health care and health equity that are important to members of SGIM and our patients and communities. (I would add that Eric Bass and I heard a similar message and a commitment of continuing to work with SGIM from David Atkins, MD, MPH, Director of VA HSR&D). Rabih Geha, MD, and Reza Manesh, MD, of the Clinical Problem Solvers, told a story of mentoring, joy, and profound loss of a mentee to a tragic accident showing us what it means to be authentic, to feel deeply, and to pick up and carry on with the support of community.

Finally, LeRoi Hicks’ address, “The Music of My Mind,” included music that energized me. His personal story of hope and perseverance in the face of significant odds and his work that remains true to his north star of achieving health equity in his community and nationally was inspirational. He called on us to be multipliers. I want to take that challenge forward into my year as president. Being a multiplier requires us to build relationships. One of the goals of next year’s meeting, “Strengthening Relationships and Valuing Our Diversity,” is to deepen our skills in relationship building and bringing people with diverse perspectives and strengths together to take on the challenges we face and be multipliers. Zirui Song, MD, PhD, #SGIM24 meeting Chair, Jenny Schmidt, MD, meeting Co-chair, and I hope to highlight the diversity of our society—inpatient and outpatient focused, researcher and educator, both early and later career members—and demonstrate the strength in our diversity while imparting skills and strategies that SGIM members can apply in their work.


  1. The Civic Canopy. About Us. https://www.civiccanopy.org/about-us/. Accessed July 15, 2023.



Annual Meeting, SGIM